Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Japan Trip 2014 ~ Itinerary

Overview of my 3 weeks in Japan~

21/03 Friday - Arrive Narita - Narita Express to Shinagawa, Shinkansen Hikari to Shizuoka, local train to Nishiyaizu - 157 mins - Total:¥ 9,450(Fare:¥ 4,750  Seat Fee:¥ 4,700)

22/03 Saturday - Visit Kakegawa Castle

23/03 Sunday - Peter's Wedding!

24/03 Monday - Travel Fujieda to Nagoya - local train to Shizuoka, Shinkansen to Nagoya - 89 mins - Total:¥ 6,670(Fare:¥ 3,670  Seat Fee:¥ 3,000)
                        - Visit Inuyama {Oldest Castle in Japan} - Meitetsunagoya to Inuyama on Meitetsu Ltd. Express - 49 mins - ¥540

25/03 Tuesday - Visit Gujo Hachiman - Wide View train to Minoota, Nagaragawa railway to Gujo Hachiman - 155 mins - Total:¥ 4,190(Fare:¥ 2,490  Seat Fee:¥ 1,700)

26/03 Wednesday - Travel Nagoya to Hikone - Shinkansen Hikari to Maibara, local train to Hikone - 45 mins - Total:¥ 3,740(Fare:¥ 1,490  Seat Fee:¥ 2,250)
                             - Visit Hikone Castle & Gardens, Genkyu-En

27/03 Thursday - Visit Uji - Special Rapid Service to Kyoto, local train to Uji - 82 mins - ¥ 1,320

28/03 Friday - Visit Ryotan-Ji in Hikone
                     - Travel Hikone to Shin-Osaka - JR Rapid Service to Kyoto then Osaka, Hankyu line from Umeda to Mikuni - 95 mins - ¥ 2,130

29/03 Saturday - Visit Osaka Castle, Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Namba - Osaka subway day pass ¥ 600 {weekend & holiday price, normally ¥ 800}

30/03 Sunday - Visit Nara - Hankyu line to Umeda, Yamatoji Line Rapid Service Osaka to Nara - 70 mins - ¥ 990
                      - Visit Floating Garden in Osaka {fantastic night views of the City}

31/03 Monday - Had planned for Koya-San but missed the train & next connection wasn't for another hour so just picked a destination at random from the train station at Osaka
                        - Visit Kobe - local train Osaka to Kobe - 30min - ¥ 390 - Should have got off at Sannomiya as that seems to be where most of the tourist attractions are, getting off at Kobe put me down by the pier which turned out to be quite nice as well. Mostly shopping malls & a Science Centre for children but offered a great view of Kobe Port Tower
                         - Visit Hyogo - local train Kobe to Hyogo - ¥ 120
                         - Visit Osaka Castle at night

01/04 Tuesday - Travel Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima - subway from Higashimikuni to Shin-Osaka, Shinkansen Hikari to Hiroshima - 144 min - Total:¥ 10,410(Fare:¥ 5,800  Seat Fee:¥ 4,610)
                        - Visit A-Bomb Dome, Gardens & Museums
                        - Visit Miyajima to see Floating Torii at night - Street car to Nishi-Hiroshima, local train to Miyajimaguchi, ferry to Miyajima ¥ 160 + ¥ 500

02/04 Wednesday - Visit Miyajima - local train from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi, ferry to Miyajima ¥ 580

03/04 Thursday - Travel Hiroshima to Tokyo - Shinkansen Sakura to Shin-Osaka, Shinkansen Hikari to Tokyo, Yamanote line to Akihabara, Chuo/Sobu line to Asakusabashi - 312 mins - Total:¥ 18,560(Fare:¥ 11,660  Seat Fee:¥ 6,900)
                         - Visit Akihabara

04/04 Friday - Visit Ueno, Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Asahi HQ

05/04 Saturday - Visit Odaiba to see the Gundam, Shibuya, Shinjuku

06/04 Sunday - Travel Tokyo to Nagano - local train to Akihabara then Tokyo, Shinkansen Asama to Nagano - 122 mins - Total:¥ 8,200(Fare:¥ 4,000  Seat Fee:¥ 4,200)
                      - Visit Zenkoji Temple

07/04 Monday - Travel Nagano to Hakuba - Wide View Shinano to Matsumoto, Oito line to Kamishiro - 160 mins - Total:¥ 3,970(Fare:¥ 2,270  Seat Fee:¥ 1,700) -- There is also a bus that runs between Nagano & Hakuba which takes 60-90 mins and costs ¥ 1500-1800

08/04 Tuesday - Snowboarding Goryu & Hakuba 47

09/04 Wednesday - Snowboarding Goryu & Hakuba 47

10/04 Thursday - Travel Hakuba to Tokyo Narita - Oito line to Matsumoto, Azusa to Shinjuku, Narita Express to Terminal 1 - 378 mins - Total:¥ 10,860(Fare:¥ 6,260  Seat Fee:¥ 4,600)

It was a pretty action packed 21 days and I feel like I covered a LOT of ground.. this is probably not the way most people like to travel but I wanted to maximise my time as best I could... I was absolutely shattered by the end of it.. Luckily train travel in Japan is pretty easy and stress-free and most importantly very comfortable..

I had to make a few last minute changes of plan due to weather as well as difficulty finding accommodation due to Hanami {Cherry Blossom Viewing}.

Apart from Koya-San, I also gave up going to Okayama for a day exploring Miyajima. If I had a do'over, I might have done Hikone as a day trip from Nagoya rather than spending two nights there as Uji is easily accessible from Nagoya as well, although in the end I quite appreciated having some time in a small town and not having the hour travel time back to Nagoya and being able to go straight back to the guesthouse after a very wet day.

The only bonus about doing day trips is not having to pack and unpack luggage and lug it to a new place.. which, after 3 weeks on the road and amassing quite a bit of shopping, is an absolute Godsend..
xx Caz

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